Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Hopefully, EA blazes the trail for other major publishers to follow on this front.
Cross-platform play has become a big deal now. Thanks to games like Fortnite and Rocket League blazing the trail on this front, we have players able to play with each other regardless of what platform they are playing on—the PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, and PC communities find themselves united for the very first time.
Largely, big third party publishers with full-priced games have sat this party out so far, leaving smaller or free-to-play games to carry the torch. However, EA, who apparently is already exploring cross-platform play for the just-launched (and already successful) Apex Legends, is looking into the feature for other games too. Speaking at their earnings report yesterday, EA admitted this is an “important” area, and one they will explore further
“We think cross-play and cross-progress is going to be a very important part of our future, and you should anticipate that we’ll be doing more in that space,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said. “What our information would suggest to us is that there isn’t a tremendous amount of play across devices, but that overall liquidity in any gaming community is a good and positive thing, even if it’s only a few people or a small portion of the community that utilizes that.
“We absolutely are looking into that in the context of Apex [Legends], and we’ll be looking at that across our portfolio over time. We think about franchises with tremendously large communities like FIFA, and we think that they would absolutely benefit from cross-play and cross-progress, as more and more people come into these big communities.”
It will be interesting to see what EA game ends up being the first one to support the feature. Will it be FIFA? Or will Respawn beat it to the punch with Apex Legends? Or will it be something else entirely? Whatever game it ends up being, as soon as a major third party publisher has cross-platform play on one of their games, I have to imagine it will set off a ripple effect across the industry.